It is important to remember that nothing compares to hiring a qualified, experienced masonry restoration contractor. You may say money in the mean time, yes, it’s true it will not cost you as much right now to hire a handyman or use your maintenance crew who is not experienced in masonry to just wing it. Though, unfortunately that is exactly what they will do and it will cost you more to repair or fix the mistakes they have made. The other highly potential problem is that they are not qualified, nor, do they understand what putting a bandaid on a structural issue will do. Here are some examples:
Here is an area that was prepped for work. The problem is that it is a structural column supporting the roof truss. It is wide open and only a few bricks in the back are holding up the column and trusses.
Here is an example where the maintenance supervisor, with the best of intentions, tried to correct an issue of water entering the building. They just smeared cement over the brick and the asphalt. The worst part about this is that not only is it unprofessional, looks bad on the surface, the cement on the asphalt will crack, but the stain will stay; the junction between the asphalt and the brick will crack and water will continue to penetrate into the building.
“Penny Wise Pound Foolish”
We talk a lot about longevity, quality, pride in workmanship; these are all values that we hold dear. These misguided efforts, don’t even fix the problems, some of the structural problems were just blatantly ignored to do the easier work at the time. Part of the problem is that though it was cheaper at the time in the long run it wastes time and money. It truly follows the age old saying penny wise pound foolish. Then again it also leaves the fact that there are structural issues left unchecked, and getting worse. The picture where there are courses of bricks left out of the structural column, the one maintenance worker told me that it has been like for a while.
This is the importance of having a set maintenance schedule, looking at your properties, actually inspecting the brick, mortar joints, lintels, caulk joints (this is also a common problem- rarely is caulk installed properly), chimneys, structural columns, floor joists (if possible), we do not only look at the masonry but the entire building system.